2. Heat which is produced mainly by the decay of naturally occurring radioactive isotopes of thorium, potassium, and uranium in the earth's core.
3. An energy produced by tapping the earth's internal heat. At present, the only available technologies to do this are those that extract heat from hydrothermal convection systems, where water or steam transfer the heat from the deeper part of the earth to the areas where the energy can be tapped.
The amount of pollutants found in geothermal vary from area to area but may contain arsenic, boron, selenium, lead, cadmium, and fluorides. They also may contain hydrogen sulphide, mercury, ammonia, radon, carbon dioxide, and methane.
Getting the Earth's Heat
Geothermal power plants, which tap hot subterranean water or steam, are high on the lists of at least thirty states in the U.S. which are requiring utility companies to generate some portion of their electricity from such renewable sources.
Most utilities have not pursued geothermal energy primarily because up-front costs, including exploratory drilling, can be expensive since geothermal taps deep reservoirs, not groundwater, which collects much closer to the surface.
An extensive study recently released by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has shown that the heat available under ground is surprisingly plentiful nationwide.
More information about special Geothermal Energy sources.
The fluid is contained in a variety of loop (pipe) configurations depending on the temperature of the ground and the ground area available.
Loops may be installed horizontally or vertically in the ground or submersed in a body of water.